The Budget-Friendly 2021 Schwinn Axum DP is In for Test

The Schwinn Axum DP may not be on core mountain bikers’ radars, but for those new to the sport, it’s meant to provide a good entry point. Priced at $499, the bike hits most items on the list of “must haves” that devoted riders love to talk about, delivered in a basic package.

Case in point: Last week I rode the bike to a small social gathering, and multiple grown men literally fawned over this bike. Granted, none of them are very familiar with mountain bikes, yet I could sense a real lust for throwing a leg over this machine and hitting the trail. Clearly, Schwinn has done their homework, or at the very least, quality market research into the minds of middle-aged men.

If you’re reading this, chances are you are a fairly serious mountain biker so a flashy red paint job, disc brakes, and fat tires aren’t enough to pull the trigger on a mountain bike, let alone even chamber a round. So let’s dig a little deeper. Even if this bike isn’t for you, perhaps it’s one to recommend to a new rider on a budget.

The frame

The hardtail Schwinn Axum features an aluminum frame and a Schwinn-branded fork with 100mm of travel. Aside from the dropper cable port at the base of the seat tube, there’s no internal cable routing which should make for easy maintenance. There are two spots for mounting a water bottle cage inside the front triangle and the rear stays appear to offer more than enough clearance for the stock 2.6″ tires.

The 2021 Axum DP will be available in two sizes — medium and large — which is a change from the Schwinn Axum I tested just a year ago. Both sizes feature a 67.8° head tube angle, a 73.5° seat tube angle, and 435mm chainstays. I got a size large which has a notably longer, 645mm horizontal top tube measurement than the medium and a 483mm seat tube. With pedals, my size large test bike weighs 36.1lbs.

MediumLarge
Head Tube Angle67.8°67.8°
Seat Tube Angle73.5°73.5°
Horizontal Top Tube620mm645mm
Seat Tube Length433mm483mm
Head Tube Length112mm115mm
Chainstay Length435mm435mm
Fork Offset42mm46mm
Bottom Bracket Drop67mm67mm
Stem Length60mm60mm
Handlebar width720mm720mm
Geometry chart.

The build

Looking at the general parts spec for the Schwinn Axum DP, it appears the brand has everything covered. The bike rolls on 29er wheels and comes shod with 2.6-inch-wide tires with what appears to be a fast-rolling, all-rounder tread pattern. It’s not the most aggressive tire by any means, but then again this bike isn’t designed for the most aggressive rider.

The Schwinn-branded fork is pretty basic with a lockout on the right and a mystery knob on the left. I’ll report back once I figure out what, if anything, the left knob does to the suspension. There’s no air spring so adjustability is going to be minimal either way.

Basic alloy wheels are specced as well, and the bike ships with tubes installed in the tires. I decided to weigh the front wheel, and with the tire, rotor, and 9mm QR axle it weighs a hefty 6.8lbs.

Mechanical disc brakes grab a 180mm rotor up front and a 160mm disc in the rear. Like most mountain bikes these days, the Axum features a 1-by drivetrain, though it is limited to eight gears instead of 11 or 12. There’s a 30T chainring up front and the cassette ranges from 11-40T in the rear.

At the cockpit, the bars are 720mm wide and flat. A 125mm-travel dropper post is included with this build, and it’s controlled with a 1-by-style lever which is a welcome upgrade to the over-the-bar remotes of old.

I’ll be setting up and testing the Schwinn Axum DP over the next few weeks to see how it performs. The bike is currently available online at Walmart.com.

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